Magazine article Public Finance

Ministers Open Talks on Children's Services

Magazine article Public Finance

Ministers Open Talks on Children's Services

Article excerpt

Families with disabled children, professional carers and MPs have joined forces to influence the Treasury's policy review on children and young people.

More detail on the review, announced in this year's Budget, emerged this week when ministers confirmed that it would inform decisions taken in next year's Comprehensive Spending Review.

A consortium of charities, including Contact a Family, Mencap and the Disabled Children's Council, has linked with a cross-party panel of MPs for a series of dialogues with Treasury and education ministers.

The first discussion, focusing on early years issues, took place at the House of Commons on July 5 and was attended by Economic secretary Ed Balls and children's minister Beverley Hughes.

Speaking to Public Finance ahead of the meeting, Francine Bates, chief executive of Contact A Family, said it was important to make the most of ministerial interest. 'We see it as a great opportunity to influence the Treasury review at a very early stage,' she said.

Bates said that, although there was a lot of good policy relating to disabled children, it was often not having an impact at grassroots level. …

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